July 8, 2019

Guest Post: May & June Auction Insights from CollectorIQ

CollectorIQ shares interesting insights from the major May and June evening auctions, including a deeper analysis of three artists with the most lots up for sale.

Overall, the market remains strong. Christie’s edged out Sotheby’s ($946M vs. $904M) in total sales, driven primarily by strength in its New York sales.

Sotheby’s posted gains in Total Sales Value, Number of Sales, Sell-Through Rate, and Realized Price / Estimate vs. the same auctions in 2018.

Christie’s posted declines in most major stats with the exception of a slight increase in total sales and significant increase in Average Sale Price (thanks to Jeff Koons’ Rabbit for $91M).

Across the board Sotheby’s London outperformed Christie’s London.

But what’s more interesting than a high level look at the overall robustness of the market is a deep dive on the artists with the most lots up for sale in these auctions – Claude Monet (11 lots), Andy Warhol (9 lots), and Pablo Picasso (25 lots).

Monet’s Meules (1890) crossed the $100M mark. Across the board the master of Impressionism posted strong gains in Average Sale Price, Sell-Through Rate and Realized Price to Estimate vs. the same auctions a year prior.

On the heels of his retrospective at the Whitney, Warhol posted 50% increase in Average Sale Price but the auction houses may have been a touch aggressive when it came to their estimates. Warhol’s Sell-Through Rate declined 22% to 78% and there was a 6% decline in Realized Price / Estimate.

Picasso – with the most lots up for sale in these auctions – is the only of these three artists to see a decline in Average Sale Price (-13% vs. these auctions in 2018). However, his works did see a strong uptick in Sell-Through Rate (+34%) and Realized Price to Estimates (+15%) after a weaker spring season in 2018.

We leave you with a look at the four Jeff Koons lots from these auctions. Rabbit (1986) broke the record for the price paid for a work by a living artist. We’ll be eager to see the estimates and whether there is an increase in the number of Koons lots in the November auctions.

With CollectorIQ, you can follow artists you care about and receive alerts about relevant upcoming and recent sales. Use ARTA50 for 50% off your first month of an Insights subscription. https://collectoriq.com/plans

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